Early outcomes show Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine is useful against the new variant of the virus detected in Britain and South Africa, the pharmaceutical company said on Monday. The firm said early laboratory tests showed that the vaccine triggers an immune response that could shield people against the variants.
But it added that trials showed the neutralizing antibody response to the South African variant was sixfold more inferior compared to previous strains of the virus. Levels of security still “remained above” the amount expected, it added. As a precaution, Moderna is to start experimenting with a third “booster” dose, alongside its two-dose vaccine, to see if those assists neutralize the virus strains further. It is also working on a new booster vaccine precise to the South African variant of the virus.
In December, Britain’s health secretary, Matt Hancock, declared a new variant of the virus had been found in the south-east of England. The new strain has been shown to spread quicker than the original strain and led to a spike in cases that forced Britain back into lockdown.